Afghanistan was given the rights to play Test after playing top class international cricket last year, where they debuted against India. Afghanistan are currently standing at the eighth spot in the T20 rankings and have also qualified for the 2019 World Cup which bears testimony to the massive growth of cricket in this country.Also read:Asia Cup 2018: Tamim Iqbal ruled out after fracturing left wrist
With the presence of some highly-talented players in Afghanistan like Rashid Khan who tops the table in the best bowlers category and Mohammad Nabi who is world number two in the all-rounder category in the T20 format, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is all set with this one-of-its-kind league in order to provide a major platform for emerging players to showcase their talent and enter the world of competitive cricket.
There are going to be 23 thrilling T20 matches played across a span of 17 days. The Twenty20 franchise based tournament will witness five teams in its inaugural season, having over 35 overseas players across 10 nations representing different teams and battling it out to emerge on the top.
The launch of the Afghanistan Premier League will also give a chance to some emerging players to play against and alongside the world's best players.Also read:Asia Cup 2018: Skipper Rohit gets batting tips from Chahal ahead of tournament
Speaking on the occasion, CEO Afghanistan Cricket Board, Shafiqullah Stanikzai, said " We are delighted that the APL T20 will be carried to close to 100 million homes in India through the Broadcast. We expect a keenly fought competition which is sure to enthrall the cricket loving viewers in India."
Speaking about the association, Karan Bajaj, Senior Vice President and General Manager - South Asia, Discovery Communications India, said, "We are excited to partner with Afghanistan Cricket Board to broadcast the inaugural edition of Afghanistan Cricket League in India. We expect huge traction for the league given the presence of super stars of cricket and the fact all the matches will be played at prime time in India."
Talking about the association with the Afghanistan Premier League, RC Venkateish, MD and CEO of Lex Sportel Vision Pvt Ltd said, "We are delighted to Partner with Afghanistan Cricket Board to produce this league and telecast the same on DSport. We look forward to deepening our association with the young and enthusiastic Afghan Cricket establishment, not just for this tournament but for future tournaments as well."
West Indies star Chris Gayle, said, "I have played T20 leagues across the world but I am especially excited to be part of inaugural edition of Afghanistan Cricket League. I can see Afghanistan emerging as a future global cricket power- the young talent that has emerged from the country is indeed impressive. The new league will offer a huge opportunity to the young players of this emerging cricket nation to learn from the best in the world."
Echoing similar views as Gayle, Brendon McCullum said, "I have read reports of how the entire country in Afghanistan was awake following the exploits of Rashid Khan during IPL. Now, they will get to see so many of their youngsters in action along with the best in the world. Looking forward to the league."